I don't care how hard the deal was, what about your expectations???

Mortgage and Lending with Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc


Having a mortgage question.

What are probably the two most important things in regards to a mortagage settlement?  Having that loan close and close on time??


Sure, a good deal would be the no brainer. And no, not the best deal. Here is my definition of a very good deal. It's not based solely on interest rates and fees. It would be a combination of :

  • good rate and low to no lenders fees (anything under $500)
  • an on time settlement with no hitches (last minute change of rate and or fees)
  • educating the consumer of the process - good explanations along the way
  • timely follow up
  • communication

Those are just to name a few things to how you can judge if you got a good deal or not. But what about my initial question?  What do you think would be the two biggest issues for a smooth transaction?




work hard and be nice to people

My .02 to the questions above......

     1.  Communication - May it be through e-mails, phone calls, face-to-face....   if you are telling people that you will call back in an hour, then call back around that time frame.  Try to be polite, even when frustrated. I will admit, I can get frustrated easily, especially after I have explained it twice in one day and I get an e-mail later asking for an explanation again. It's human nature to snap at people, right or wrong.

     Take a step back first. Try and put yourself in that borrowers shoes. Or maybe that realtor or lawyer... or even the seller or loan officer. Just because we go through this daily and know what we are doing, many people don't. Even those that have bought before, especially since the mortgage industry has been turned upside down.


     2.  Expectations -  How do you set your clients expectations? How about setting them at a respectful level.  Not to over promise and under deliver. How excited does someone get when you actually under promised and over delivered. I know I feel great when someone was expecting one thing and they ended up with a better deal.  Or quicker closing, etc, etc.

                                                        Something that I learned 10 yrs ago from my boss's boss was setting my clients expectations to a certain level. And it makes perfect sense. Keeping this in the back of my mind has made my job easier and more efficient.  Again, it's human nature to want to please someone right then and there, telling them what they want to hear. It's extremely hard to do the opposite, to tell someone something that they might not like. That is also part of communication.




Conclusion :  I was inspired to write this post after reading this post by : Carol Culkin - Mortgage Rep. says - I don't like being questioned regarding rate.  This post was basically about a loan officers attitude and ego, from what I could gather. He seemed to be rude and didn't have much time to explain or help, telling everyone that this was a difficult deal. But wait, he brought this up during the process. Again, it goes back to communication. If you already know that it's a very hard deal, you let everyone know at that time, not when you are being pressured to deliver or to answer questions.

He not only told people that this was very hard, even though a few other loan officers said that they could do this deal, but he told people that he was extremely busy. That he was also busy with tons of refinances. As someone mentioned, those people are already in their how.

Which leads me to expectations. They had a commitment, loan approval, 2 weeks before settlement. He said that they should make settlement, if not, at least by Christmas. That would have been closer to 3 weeks. And then in an e-mail not to long after that, he said, maybe in January. My point to this?  If there was a major issue on that commitment letter, he should have made all parties aware of it then and explain the importance of it. Again, communication and expectations.



Ending????  Yes, it closed.  But what ruffled my feathers?  Some people said, hey, it closed. It was a tough deal. Yeah, that's true. But keep in mind. You had a first time homebuyer and the holidays. What a bad way to go about buying your first home. What bad and negative memories. I don't know the ins and outs of the deal, but I know many of these same stories. Many of this could have been bypassed if there was better communication and a certain level of expectations set.  thanks


Something to remember?  Just don't use the phrase, 'I am busy', to get people off your back. They don't want to hear that. They want truthful answers and results.  Are you fake busy or busy as a bee?




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Copyright © 2011 by Jeff Belonger of Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc


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Angelia Garcia
Pure Realtors - Dallas, TX

For me, it would be the seller or buyer not backing out of the contract.

Jan 07, 2009 03:33 PM #1
Kent Anderson
Coldwell Banker Resort Realty, Sandpoint, Idaho - Sandpoint, ID
from Schweitzer to the Lake
It is so simple...you do what you tell your client you're going to do. If you say, "I'll get back to you tomorrow morning, you get back to them tomorrow morning." It's o.k. if you don't have the answer yet...clients cannot be left hanging without communication. Thanks for the post.
Jan 07, 2009 04:01 PM #2
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

ANGELIA..... .  well, that would be good for the realtor and that commission check. But even if things are delayed, there are ways of going about it, to set those expectations, so people don't back out. I have had to do that also and it has worked every time.  No matter what the reason was... just informing everyone of what is going on, explaining, and making it happen then.

KENT..... .  I totally agree... and I will go one step further. I will also tell people, if they don't hear back from me at that time, to call me. They aren't bothering me... but I am asometimes trying to handle 5 things at once. If they can understand this and appreciate that, they shouldn't have a problem calling me.  thanks


Jan 07, 2009 04:06 PM #3
Peter Testa
Nationwide Homes - Danbury, CT

You've got it right Jeff, good post- I love the little Work Hard logo too. The Golden Rule never goes out of style!

Jan 07, 2009 05:09 PM #4
Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist
Kingsbridge Realty, Inc - Hubert, NC

Hi Jeff,
Unfortunately not all lenders understand and/or practice this!  I've dealt with some lenders (client's choice) who just will not communicate--do not return phone calls, emails.  It's very frustrating.

Jan 07, 2009 09:43 PM #5
Barb Szabo, CRS
RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio - Cleveland, OH
E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes

Jeff, For me it's communication, between all parties to the transacation. It is so irritating when the other agent won't return phone calls or even answer their phone.

Jan 07, 2009 10:15 PM #6
Kris Wales
Keller Williams Realty - Lakeside Market Center - Macomb, MI
Real Estate Blog & Homes for Sale search site, Macomb County MI

Bingo!   No matter what is transpiring during a transaction I expect to be informed as well as to have my clients informed on a daily basis.

Yes, I said daily.

Are my expectations too high?  I don't think so. 


Jan 07, 2009 10:22 PM #7
Larry Bettag
Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001 - Saint Charles, IL
Vice-President of National Production

Good post....I just wrote about telling a client off.  I am transparent, but I need a client to cooperate as well.  In our industry many don't communicate to clients.  That's the biggest rub.  I'm fairly good at it and have an assistant as a back up.  But if a client doesn't cooperate either....all bets are off.

Jan 07, 2009 11:42 PM #8
Shawn Davis
Home Crossings, P.C. - Davison, MI
Homes For Sale, Genesee County, Michigan

Yes, Jeff I believe that communication is the number one priority, if I am to keep my sanity throughout a transaction.  If the buyer is stressed he is likely to want to be updated daily and an upside down seller waiting for answers from the buyers mortgage officer, is certainly up there with the most stressful of lifes handouts!!

Great Point!  Even if it is bad news, communicate it politely!

Shawn Davis

Jan 07, 2009 11:42 PM #9
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

The two biggest issues for me are 1) can they buy the house and 2) did the lender read the contract and know what day the finance contingency is suppose to be removed. If so it goes smooth. If they can't meet the removal date then let us know so we can stay in contract.

Jan 08, 2009 12:14 AM #10
Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer

I agree about communication!  I can't believe how many title officers and lenders (and I am sure Realtors) drop the ball with it once the transaction begins.  Some are GREAT off the bat and then when you need them the most, can't find em!  To me I have my priority list of communicating.  On days when I am beyond busy I talk with people involved only active & live transactions.  They even get priority call back.  Blind leads are the bottom of the list and they will go out to my buyer's agents who can get to them quicker than I can!

Jan 08, 2009 12:15 AM #11
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans


PETER.... . one of the golden rules should never go out of style, but it does. Too many people thinking of themselves, no matter what it's about.  thanks for the polite comment.


CYNTHIA.... . gee, if 80% of them practiced this, things would be much easier in this business. I would bet, from stories that I have heard, that it would be around 65% communicate in a good and positive way... not when they just want to. And I am sure it is frustrating, just as much when I try to get a hold of a realtor or the borrower, and they just get back to me when they can. Even when the borrower says, " I just have been very busy"...  well, I guess this transaction doesn't mean as much to you. I have a cell phone and e-mail... 8 am til 8 pm...  I won't directly say this to them, but this is what I am thinking... I might say bits and pieces.


BARB..... . it should be about communication. I lost a deal the other day, because the loan officer put a rate on the GFE that could not be obtained at that time. She said,"well, he has to honor it, since it is on paper"... not a GFE....  so there was lack of communication from the other loan officer.  And I have seen loan officers duck calls... that part really cracks me up, yet it's really scary.


KRIS..... . that could be debatable. Yes, I think daily is to high. If you want to send me an e-mail asking me status once a day, fine, I can except that.  Here is an example.. if I take an application on the 1st and the commitment is not due until the 18th, there should be no reason to communicate daily. I always update the realtor and borrower what we are inititally missing. If I am having trouble getting something, then I alert people. I don't wait weeks.... but there is a point to this. If we are just waiting back on underwriting, there is no need until the commitment is done, in which case, we send to the borrower and both realtors at that moment.

My point, everyone is different.... and it goes back to expectations to where the communication doesn't have to be daily. Just my opinion... thanks for your input.


LARRY..... . I have told a few off last year.  Some just want to be lied to or told differently. I won't play that game, even if I am slow. It's just not worth my time and aggrevation.  And yes, the biggest negative is that many don't communicate. I hear realtors saying that they have to track a loan officer down for days. I had one realtor that would call me like every other hour. That is just way to much on a loan that had no issues.


SHAWN..... . people are going to be stressed, it's human nature. That's were setting their expectations comes in handy.  And yes, bad news should be told quickly, no matter what. That is one of the biggest issues... thanks


Jan 08, 2009 12:15 AM #12
Gerry Suarez Jr.
Jet Home Loans NMLS 1660135 - Maitland, FL
FL Mortgage Guru

Good one Jeff,

I agree 100% with you. We can do a great job of processing our paperwork, but if we fail to acknowledge the "human factor" we fail as a lender. I know it sounds corny but just treat people the way you would like to be treated and things just seem to fall into place.

Gerry Suarez, Jr.

Your FHA Loan Pro!

Jan 08, 2009 12:18 AM #13
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Jeff - communication and setting expectations is key in all areas of our business.  Lack of communication is one of the biggest complaints from consumers, if not the biggest. With the tech tools we have it shouldn't be that hard to provide some form of communication in a reaonably timely manner. As for expectations - yep you need to set them but you have to deliver on them too, or overdeliver. Good job here.


Jan 08, 2009 02:39 AM #14
Patricia Kennedy
Redfin - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Jeff, great minds think alike.  Expectations and communications are just crucial.  If you screw up either of these, you'll likely have a perceived bad ending.

Jan 08, 2009 05:38 AM #15
Kim Sellers
Lake Arrowhead, CA Coldwell Banker - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Lake Arrowhead Realtor - BRE#01412099 - Lake Arrow

Great post Jeff.  Amen too... I find when you cover your bases and are straight forward out of the gate, clients are much calmer and have a better understanding for things.  We are the ones who do this every day, to them, it is a big deal, they don't do this everyday and really need good communication from all of us in the industry.

Jan 08, 2009 07:06 AM #16
Stephen Kappre
KW Hometown - Mantua, NJ
Helping You Home

Kent I like your input - "Do what you say you are going to do" - Even a "so-so" compentent professional with good communication does a good job (not great)- but good. 

Jan 08, 2009 07:56 AM #17
John Cannata
214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

Great advice Jeff!  It is very easy to get caught up into a loan and miss a return call.  You have to keep that in mind when setting up that 'expectation', as you mentioned.

Jan 09, 2009 04:46 AM #18
Ron Withers ----Retired Mortgage Professional
Kissimmee, FL


It's great to see you talking about expectations as I am a huge believer in underestanding the clients needs and intent and setting the appropriate level of expectations for the transaction. These expectations set the foundation for the entire mortgage process/experience and client relationship. I have blogged about this and also discuss expections in my personal website. Again, great subject matter!

Jan 13, 2009 12:31 AM #19
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